The prospect of a grand prix on the historic streets of London have raced back into the F1 headlines.
Two years ago, McLaren sponsor Santander dreamed up a layout taking in Big Ben and Buckingham Palace as a publicity stunt, but this week the famous British team said the plan is in fact “grounded in reality”. McLaren said “new government legislation will make it easier for public streets to be sanctioned for motor sport events, and that means the much-vaunted London grand prix once again moves a step closer to reality”.
Also hoping to race on the streets of the British capital is the new FIA-sanctioned electric single seater series Formula E, with organisers having even scheduled a 2015 date. The Times newspaper added: “Motor sport organisations, including F1, have been told that a consultation that will make it easier to hold races on public roads (in the UK) will be launched within days.”
Less convinced is the Guardian, saying that given the hurdles, top British driver Jenson Button “would be retired in the unlikely event of it (a London GP) ever taking place”. And a spokesman for the UK’s motor sport association (MSA) said: “Silverstone’s got a long-term contract to host the British grand prix. “The push from the MSA about getting this change in legislation is much more aimed at hill climbs, sprints and stage rallies around the country in less traffic heavy routes than Park Lane and Horse Guards Parade.”